PRESS RELEASE: Women’s march


For Immediate release

  • IC Change join thousands of women marching in London in solidarity against hateful and divisive rhetoric – and to amplify the voices of marginalised groups.
  • 133 cross-party MPs voted the life-saving bill to end violence against women through to the committee stage in December
  • Emma Watson was among the names who joined calls from prominent individuals and organisations for ratification of the Istanbul Convention – the ‘gold standard’ of legislation to protect women from gender-based violence

IC Change, a volunteer campaign led by survivors of gender-based violence and service workers, will be among millions of women taking to the streets to protest against the inauguration of Donald Trump tomorrow.

The group will join hundreds of like-minded feminist organisations on the Women’s March in London.

Co-director Rebecca Bunce of IC Change said: “Today is a powerful show of solidarity with women across the world. We join with them to protest hateful and divisive rhetoric, and demonstrate our support of all those impacted by these insidious messages. We march to say violence against women – in any form – is never acceptable.

“Today is a symbol of our wider, diverse movement – and how we can come together to create change. We are proud to march alongside many of the brilliant organisations and individuals that work tirelessly every day to ensure that all are treated with dignity and respect. Beyond the march, we will continue to work with our supporters – including Women’s Aid, Sisters of Frida, Southall Black Sisters and the Women’s Equality Party – to #ChangeHerstory with the ratification of the Istanbul Convention on violence against women.”

On 16th December 2016, MPs voted in favour of ratifying the Istanbul Convention – one of the most significant laws tackling violence against women and girls in British political history. The Bill now passes through to committee stage.

This legislation is needed because, on average, two women in England and Wales are killed every week by a current or former male partner and at least one in five women has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16.[1]

The UK Government signed a commitment to seeing it through four years ago, but the government have so far failed to honour their promise.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP put forward this bill, preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (ratification of Convention) 2016-17.

The Bill, which has cross party support, would require the UK Government to ratify the Istanbul Convention on violence against women and legally commit themselves to providing enough funding for shelters, rape crisis centres, helplines, education in schools on healthy relationships, and training for professionals.

Emma Watson added her voice to constituents, local and national organisations to rally MPs to support this bill. The #ChangeHerstory campaign has placed the Istanbul Convention firmly at the top of agenda. However, there is now a need to ensure that a firm timeline for ratification is established.

In order to keep up the pressure and ensure this remains a priority for the government you can sign the petition.

This bill has backing from women’s organisations across the country including all federations of Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis, and Southall Black Sisters.

Notes for Editors

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  • The Istanbul Convention – (or full name: Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence) – is the most comprehensive legal framework that exists to tackle violence against women and girls.
  • Statistic reference: Office for National Statistics (2015), ‘Violent Crime and Sexual Offences – Intimate Personal Violence and Serious Sexual Assault’, Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2013/14, Chapter 4.
  • The IC Change campaign is a grassroots, volunteer led campaign for securing ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

[1] Office of National Statitics (2016),Compendium: Chapter 2 Homicide, available online